Ken and Gerard are wacky, crazy, opposite brothers! Ho-ho! Gerard explains that he is conservative, and Kenny is liberal! He's a Republican, and Kenny is a Democrat! He's straight with kids, and Kenny is gay without kids! He has an innie belly button, and Kenny has an outie! Okay, he doesn't say that. But it's probably true. When we see them together in one of their kitchens, Gerard is preparing meat in a shirt and tie. Hee. What I love about them instantly is that they're not doing the thing where the liberal gay guy is funny and the conservative straight guy is a stick-in-the-mud, or the thing where they're constantly at odds over their differences. They appear equally funny and silly throughout this entire episode, and they seem to completely dig each other, and that is hugely cooler than the other way this could have gone.
John Vito and Jill are dating. And they're from Staten Island. And her brother was his best friend, and died in the World Trade Center. So she is of the opinion that they have a "team of three." Her hair is very unfortunate. She needs to pick a color, pick a place to put her part, and I think, um…pick a more frequent shampooing schedule. He is actually another sufferer from Ambiguous Facial Hair Syndrome. What's more, he's a good foot-and-a-half taller than she is (or it looks that way), which I have to think can't be comfortable. They may be able to save money on plane tickets if he can hoist her into the overhead compartment, though.
Now the teams make their way on foot across swampy, grassy terrain. In this shot, would you like to guess what Tramel is wearing? Yep. That's a Tilley. That's the Tilley. I have to admit, though, he wears it with a certain amount of flair. On him? Not that bad. Maybe I should take it as a shout-out. Phil speculates about whether the teams can combine "brains, brawn, and teamwork" and "stand up to the stress of traveling together." I think the real question is who should be eaten first if they run into tigers. I'm voting for Heather and Eve. "These are the questions waiting to be answered as we get ready to begin…" Here, Phil pauses dramatically. Fish spawn. The ozone hole divides again. John Ashcroft covers up some more naked statues at the Justice Department. "The Amazing Race," he finishes.
Cut to the teams, standing in a semicircle as Phil gives the final instructions. Thirteen legs, nine elimination points (in other words, they've lost one of the nonelimination legs by adding another team). You know, these teams have a lot of sparkly teeth. I mean, last year it was really just the one Tooth-alicious team, but this year? Oh, yeah. It's pretty much everybody. Aaron smirks inappropriately at the discussion of elimination points. Also, he is wearing yellow sunglasses. Shut up, Aaron. (Wow, and he's not even talking. He and I are not off to a good start at all.) Phil tells them they'll get a little money, which has to cover everything but plane tickets. Yes, Phil, we know! Let's go let's go let's go! The first clue, as always, is with the luggage. "Is everybody ready?" Phil asks. They all "woo!" in response. "The world is waiting for you. Good luck, travel safe. GO!"